A storm surge can occur when severe winter storms occur at the same time as very high tides, particularly king tides. The surge itself is caused by the wind and pressure 'pushing' the water onto the shore, often resulting in high, powerful waves and flooding.
A storm surge can cause water to rise dramatically within minutes.
Getting caught near the shoreline during a storm surge could be life-threatening. Storm surges can happen quickly, without allowing much time for preparation.
How to prepare
Knowing when these very high tide days are going to occur and storm tracking can be useful if you have waterfront property or a boat.
Have an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit so you can survive on your own for a minimum of 72 hours, and know what to do if you have to evacuate.
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Tidal Predictions
- StormsurgeBC Forecasting Program
- Make an emergency plan
- Prepare an emergency kit
What to do during a storm surge
- Stay away from the beach.
- Stay away from debris in the water. It can be dangerous to people and pets.
- If you are evacuated, turn off your home's natural gas before leaving.
Get notified of a storm surge
- Sign up for emergency notifications
- EmergencyInfoBC alerts
- StormsurgeBC on Twitter
- Environment Canada: Weather Alerts for BC
- Environment Canada BC on Twitter